Period - The Twins, Castor And Pollux - The Argonauts - King Solomon's Pillars - Maia - Ovid And Wedding Of Mary Queen Of Scots - Gemini Number - Characteristics - Orpheus - Alexander The Great - Virtues Of The Stone.
Gemini, the Zodiacal House of the Twins, is occupied by the Sun from the 22nd of May until the 21st of June approximately, and is ruled by the planet Mercury. In the earliest Zodiacs this House was symbolised by two kids, for which the Greeks substituted twin children, the sons of Jupiter, represented by two bright stars, Castor and Pollux.
Gemini is also symbolised by two Pillars joined at the top and base (II), which is a diagrammatic representation of the Twins seated side by side with embracing arms. Castor was killed in battle, and Pollux, overwhelmed at his loss, entreated Jupiter to restore his brother to life, or make them both immortal. As a reward for this great affection, and in recognition of their noble deeds when on earth, Jupiter translated the two brothers, thus forming the Constellation Gemini in the heavens. It was believed that among other achievements they cleared the neighbouring seas of pirates, and when the Argonauts were in distress from a violent tempest, two lambent flames descended from the clouds and settled upon the heads of Castor and Pollux, a calm immediately ensuing.
From these circumstances they were regarded as protectors of navigation, it being inferred that whenever both stars were visible it was a harbinger of fine weather, the appearance of one star only signifying storms and tempests.
It may be noted that as a rule the seas are calm when the Sun is in Gemini, and it was at this period of the year that the forty days' rain of the Deluge ceased.
The symbol of the two Pillars joined at the top and base, already referred to, were also believed to typify the two pillars set up by King Solomon in the porch of the Temple, which were quite distinct and apart from the building itself and were not for any structural purpose, their use being entirely symbolical.
One was named "Jachin," meaning "He will establish," and the other "Boaz," signifying "In Him is strength"; also they denoted the union of Intellect and Intuition.
The symbols of the Twins and Pillars are shown in No. 3 of the coloured Frontispiece.
Amongst the Romans the month of May was sacred to Maia the goddess of Sterility, and this month was, therefore, considered by them a most unfavourable time for marriages. Ovid in his Fasti tells us that -
"Neither are the times suitable for the marriage of the widow nor the virgin. She who was married was not so for long. Also for this cause (if proverbs affect you) they commonly say evil things for marrying in the month of Mai".
This last sentence (in its original Latin) was affixed to the gates of Holyrood Palace after the wedding of Mary Queen of Scots to Bothwell on the 15th of May, 1567. Another old writer says that the day of the week on which the 14th of May falls is not only unlucky for marriage in this unfortunate month, but that throughout the remainder of the year that particular day will bring ill-luck to those who marry on it; and another old proverb runs: "May never was ye month of love." Even now it is stated fewer marriages take place in this month than in any other.
The fortunate number of the Gemini type is 5, which was considered to have peculiar virtues as a Talisman by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks because it unites the first even and odd numbers 2 and 3. It was often inscribed over doors to keep out evil spirits. In connection with this, it is interesting to note that in Roman ceremonies of marriage it was usual to light five tapers and to admit the guests by five; Jewish history records a frequent use of this number, five gifts to the priests, five things only to be eaten in camp. Joseph gave five suits of raiment to Benjamin, and presented only five of his brothers to Pharaoh. David took five pebbles when he went to fight Goliath, and Joshua hanged five kings on five trees ; further, every important measurement of the Tabernacle was five or a multiple of five; also there were five wise and five foolish virgins. In the Mohammedan religion there are five articles of belief, namely in Allah, in the Prophets, in Angels, the Day of Judgment, and Predestination.
In Astrology there are five principal aspects of the planets which rule the good, or bad fortunes of the subject; also in Masonry the grand scheme is five points of fellowship, also five brethren can hold a fellow-craft's lodge. The fifth son of Jacob, Issachar, represents Gemini, and, in naming him, Leah expresses the leading qualities of the symbol - that is, reward and recompense which its mental qualities bring.
The subjects born during this period are invariably of an intellectual disposition, and when well-educated their ideals and aspirations are high, with an intense desire to do useful work. When inclined to religion they favour the intellectual and idealistic. In family life they are very loyal and faithful, helping their relations however undeserving. Though generous to their families or when prompted by personal influence, these subjects are not lavish in their expenditure. Being fond of money and ingenious in their schemes and methods of making it, they like to secure a good return for money spent and their natural shrewdness enables them to get the better of their fellows. They have a quick comprehension of human nature which assists them in their schemes, enabling them to weigh up any one they may be dealing with, and consequently to get the best of a bargain. Their success, or otherwise, will depend to a great extent on the positions occupied and the aspects in relation to each other of the Moon and planets at the time of their birth.
Under harmonious circumstances they possess keen judgment, quick wit, ability in artistic directions, and the faculty of acquiring knowledge without much apparent effort, their capabilities carrying them to the highest mental attainments but, when ill-balanced, they sink to the extreme of clever trickery and fraud.
Their characteristics are often contradictory. Being peculiarly undecided in their dispositions and invariably of two minds, the constant influx of new ideas causes much innate restlessness, the realisation of their plans seldom coming up to anticipations. Owing to the antagonism between their feelings and their reason, they are seldom able to concentrate on any one thing for any length of time, thus they start many schemes and enterprises which they abandon before completion. In consequence, Intuition and its forces, (as opposed to Impulse and individual inclination,) strain and perplex the versatile mind of this type, making them capricious and irritable, although their anger is easily appeased. They are highly strung, vivacious, restless, and fond of change and variety in their friends and associates, having great dislike to monotonous work and ever seeking fresh outlets for their effervescence.
In argument, from their facility of expression and dual nature, they are the most difficult of opponents to overcome. Many of our most clever advocates and solicitors have been born during this period, and as illustrative of the duality of this House, it produces, when favourably aspected, the best physicians, authors, orators, actors, schoolmasters, journalists, merchants, accountants, secretaries, and linguists; also our smartest detectives; but when the worst side of their character is developed, the subjects of this House become the craftiest of law-breakers. The cleverest of criminals come from this type, ranging from fraudulent company promoters to thieves and pickpockets.
Gemini rules the arms, shoulders, and hands; and ailments such as sprains and displacements attack Gemini subjects in their limbs. The lungs, too, are sometimes afflicted, generally through defections in breathing; also a tendency to rheumatic and gouty pains in those portions of the body ruled by this sign, and when Mercury, the ruling planet, is badly aspected, digestive trouble, nervous ailments, and imperfect action of the liver are indicated.
In marriage and business relations those born during the Gemini period will agree best with Aries, Leo, Libra, and Aquarius characters, and it is a curious fact that in the lives of those born whilst the Sun occupies the House of the Twins, nearly all important events, fortunate or unfortunate, happen twice, and incidents in the career are repeated in a similar way.